Spicy Meatloaf – Nourishing Traditions Recipe

As a lover of all things savory, I take great pleasure in crafting nourishing and delicious meals that satisfy my cravings. Today, I’m delighted to share with you my spicy meatloaf recipe inspired by the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, written by Sally Fallon.

This recipe is not your average meatloaf. It’s packed with robust flavors that hail from traditional ingredients such as tomato paste, ketchup, fish sauce, and dried thyme. The meat mixture is rich in nutrients, thanks to using high-quality ground beef and organ meats. Trust me when I say: this spicy meatloaf nourishing traditions way is guaranteed to please even the pickiest of eaters.

While most people might go for a classic meatloaf with ketchup on top, this recipe combines jalapeño spices and hot chocolate that give this dish an irresistible kick. If you’re a fan of spice, then get ready for your taste buds to dance!

Even if you are not typically a big fan of meatloaf, I encourage you to give this nourishing traditions recipe a try. As someone who has cooked many different variations of the dish over the years, I can confidently say that this one stands out as one of the best meatloaf recipes out there.

So grab your apron and let’s get started on creating this flavorful masterpiece – the spicy meatloaf nourishing traditions way!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spicy Meatloaf - Nourishing Traditions
Spicy Meatloaf – Nourishing Traditions

This meatloaf recipe will make your taste buds dance with joy! It’s spicy, savory, and nourishing – everything you could want in a delicious home-style meal. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

What sets this recipe apart from others is the nourishing traditions approach to cooking. This means using ingredients that are rich in nutrients and have been prepared in a traditional way. The use of grass-fed ground beef adds great flavor and nutrition, while the celery, carrot and onion provide a sweet aroma to the dish.

One of the star ingredients of this spicy meatloaf recipe is the jalapeno spices. They add depth of flavor and an interesting kick that is sure to wake up your palate, leaving you with a satisfied tingle. Not only do these spices give the meatloaf its unique flavor but they also have remarkable health benefits.

The recipe is simple and easy to follow, so you won’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to create this masterpiece. All you need is ground beef, eggs, tomato paste, ketchup, and fish sauce for the meat mixture. The spices are added in just the right amount so that they do not overpower the meat flavor.

If you’re looking for a healthier version of classic meatloaf without sacrificing taste, this recipe is perfect for you. With its low-carb option using sauerkraut instead of breadcrumbs, it is a great way to indulge without worrying about your waistline.

So why wait? Try out this homemade meatloaf recipe now and experience its nourishing joy! I promise that it will become one of your go-to dishes when you want something comforting yet exciting.

Ingredient List

 Meet my famous spicy meatloaf!
Meet my famous spicy meatloaf!

Ingredients 2 pounds ground meat mixture:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb beef heart or liver (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed in butter until soft
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped and sautéed in butter until soft
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs or low-carb alternatives
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (preferably homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme flakes
  • Homemade hot chocolate (for topping sauerkraut, optional)

Meatloaf is a dish that can be customized according to personal preference – this nourishing traditions meatloaf recipe suggests ground beef and beef heart or liver for a tasty spin. The recipe also follows the traditions’ way of cooking with full-fat ingredients, earning it a spot as one of the healthful meal options on your table.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to ignite your taste buds.
Get ready to ignite your taste buds.

Now that you have a clear understanding of why you are going to love this spicy meatloaf recipe, let’s get right into the details on how to make it perfectly.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or paste
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs

Step-by-Step Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), and prepare a loaf pan by buttering it well.

  2. In a medium frying pan, sauté one finely chopped onion, one celery stalk, and one carrot in butter until soft. Add three minced garlic cloves, a teaspoon of dried thyme flakes, and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for another minute or two.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add two pounds of ground meat of your choice (traditionally it was made with beef heart or liver, but beef and turkey work just fine). Mix together with the sautéed vegetables from step two, then add one cup of tomato sauce or paste, half a cup of ketchup, and one tablespoon of fish sauce.

  4. In a separate bowl, beat together the two eggs until they’re frothy, then add them to the meat mixture along with two cups of fresh bread crumbs. Mix everything thoroughly by hand.

  5. Transfer the mixture to the buttered loaf pan, pressing it down firmly with your hands.

  6. Bake for approximately one hour at 350F or until done.

  7. Let rest for five minutes before slicing and serving.

That’s all! You have successfully cooked a delicious spicy meatloaf using nourishing traditions way. It must be quite simple to make once you have all the ingredients ready in place!

Substitutions and Variations

 This is not your mother's meatloaf.
This is not your mother’s meatloaf.

The beauty of a classic meatloaf recipe is its versatility. You can swap out ingredients to make it your own, yet still maintain that comforting and savory taste. In this nourishing traditions meatloaf recipe, some substitutes and variations can be made depending on your taste preferences and what’s in your pantry.

– Ground Beef: If you’re not into beef or want a healthier alternative, try replacing some or all of the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken. For those looking for an even more nutrient-dense option, beef heart or liver can also be used as a substitute.

– Bread Crumbs: Instead of bread crumbs, you can use almond flour or coconut flour for low-carb options. You can also use gluten-free bread crumbs if you have a gluten intolerance.

– Spices: The jalapenos in this recipe give it a kick of spice, but you can customize it with any variety of spices that are already on hand. For example, rosemary and garlic would be a great combination to add flavor to the meat mixture.

– Tomato Sauce: If you don’t have ketchup or tomato paste on hand, using homemade tomato sauce works just as well. You can use the same amount of tomato sauce in place of the other tomato products.

– Sauerkraut: For added nutrition and tangy flavor, add some sauerkraut to the meat mixture before baking. It adds crunch and depth to the meatloaf.

Overall, this spicy meatloaf nourishing traditions recipe is straightforward and easy to make so long as you have basic ingredients in your kitchen. Don’t hesitate to play around with the recipe and come up with something that suits you best – cooking is an art form just like writing!

Serving and Pairing

 The ultimate comfort food with a kick.
The ultimate comfort food with a kick.

Now that your spicy meatloaf is ready, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it. This nourishing traditions meatloaf pairs perfectly with a variety of side dishes.

First, you’ll want to let the meatloaf rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing it. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make for a juicier, more flavorful slice.

Personally, I love serving my spicy meatloaf alongside some creamy mashed potatoes and a simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette. The creaminess and earthiness of the potatoes balance out the spice in the meatloaf while the freshness of the salad cuts through the richness of the dish.

However, if you’re looking for a lower-carb option, roasted vegetables or cauliflower rice would be great alternatives to mashed potatoes. Sauteed greens like spinach or kale could also be great options.

When it comes to drinks, a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah would complement the bold flavors in this recipe. Alternatively, you could serve it with a cold beer or even a rich hot chocolate for something indulgent.

Overall, this spicy meatloaf is versatile enough to pair well with many different side dishes and beverages. Feel free to get creative and mix and match based on your personal preferences.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Spicy lovers rejoice, this meatloaf is for you.
Spicy lovers rejoice, this meatloaf is for you.

When it comes to make-ahead, storing, and reheating this spicy meatloaf nourishing traditions recipe, there are a few critical things to keep in mind. First, this meatloaf is best when it’s made ahead of time, allowing the flavors to meld and develop over time. If you have the time, make it a day ahead or even two days ahead for maximum flavor.

To store your leftover meatloaf, simply let it cool on the counter for about an hour before putting it in the fridge. It is crucial to remember to refrigerate within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth. Once cool, wrap your leftover meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

When reheating your meatloaf, preheat your oven to 350F, and place the desired amount of meatloaf in an oven-safe dish. Add a splash of water or broth over the top of the meatloaf to prevent drying out as it reheats. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes. When fully heated through (an internal temperature reading should register 165°F), remove from the oven.

Another way to reheat your spicy meatloaf nourishing traditions recipe is by using a microwave oven. Rewarming with a microwave is faster than an oven but leaves you with a wetter top crust than with oven reheating. Loosely cover your leftover meatloaf and nuke on low to medium heat setting until heated through.

In conclusion, with these tips, you can easily make-ahead, store, and reheat your spicy meatloaf nourishing traditions recipe without stress while maximizing flavors and convenience at every mealtime.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Your family will be begging for seconds.
Your family will be begging for seconds.

When it comes to making a spicy meatloaf, there are some simple tricks that can be incredibly helpful. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years that will ensure a delicious, juicy and perfectly cooked meatloaf every time:

1. Use quality ingredients: In order to make the best spicy meatloaf, it is important to use high-quality ingredients. Choose the freshest vegetables, ground beef, and spices you can find. Don’t skimp on the spices as they are crucial in developing the depth of flavor in this dish.

2. Mix thoroughly: Be sure to mix the meat mixture thoroughly; it should be combined evenly without over-mixing which can make for a tight and dense texture in meatloaf.

3. Soak bread crumbs: Soaking bread crumbs in milk keeps the meat moist and contributes to its texture.

4. Cook in a loaf pan: This helps create a nice uniform shape for your meatloaf also aiding cooking times when compared to free-hand cooking of some other dishes.

5. Baste with sauce: basting with tomato paste or ketchup, homemade or not, gives a nice crispy coating on top coupled with additional burst of flavor.

6. Use an instant read thermometer: Checking temperature of your meatloaf helps know when it is done cooking by making sure it’s fully cooked through (inside temp must be at least 160°F/71°C).

7. Rest after cooking: After cooking let your spicy meatloaf sit so that the juices settle back into the meat distributing those flavors and moisture throughout.

Following these simple tips will help ensure that your spicy meatloaf is packed with flavor, tender and juicy from start to finish!


Now that you have learned how to prepare a spicy meatloaf nourishing traditions recipe, there might be some questions popping up in your mind. In this FAQ section, I will address some common concerns and inquiries related to the recipe. So, let’s read on and clarify all the doubts so that you can execute this recipe flawlessly.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

When crafting a delicious meat dish, it’s essential to remember that moisture is key. It’s vital to include ingredients that add moisture and prevent dryness. These may include eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, barbecue sauce, or an amalgamation of wet seasonings. Not only do these additions enhance the taste and texture, but they enrich the meat’s succulence as well. Therefore, it’s essential to add moisture to every step of the cooking process.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart?

One of the main causes for a meatloaf that crumbles easily is the lack of binding agents in the recipe. Eggs and breadcrumbs are crucial in providing the necessary cohesion to the meat mixture, ensuring that it stays intact during cooking. Therefore, it is essential to include adequate amounts of these ingredients in your meatloaf recipe.

What can I use as a binder in meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs?

If you’re looking for a tasty and easy substitute for bread crumbs in baked dishes like meatloaf or meatballs, crushed-up crackers are the way to go. They perform the same function as bread crumbs by keeping the mixture together and offer an extra kick of flavor. You can opt for saltines or Ritz crackers to add a burst of saltiness or buttery richness to your dish, respectively. So, next time you’re out of bread crumbs, don’t hesitate to grab a box of crackers from your pantry.

Is meatloaf a great depression food?

Meatloaf has a rich history as a staple dish in American cuisine, specifically during the Great Depression. During tough economic times, mealtime budgets had to be stretched as much as possible. One solution that home cooks found was to make meatloaf, which was a simple yet filling dish that could last for several meals. The popularity of meatloaf during the depression era is a testament to its versatility and convenience.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this spicy meatloaf recipe from Nourishing Traditions will change the way you think about meatloaf. It’s not just a simple and plain dish for dinner; it’s also a healthful and nourishing meal for you and your loved ones. The balance of ingredients in this recipe creates an explosion of flavors and spices that will excite your taste buds. The use of full-fat ingredients, such as butter and egg yolks, makes this meatloaf highly satisfying while providing your body with necessary nutrients.

This recipe also promotes sustainable and traditional approaches to food preparation. By using ground beef, heart, or liver, you not only create a more flavorful meat mixture but also reduce waste in the kitchen. And by incorporating jalapeño spices and sauerkraut, you embrace traditional ingredients that have been used for centuries for their health benefits.

The Nourishing Traditions way provides not only a delicious meal but also a way of thinking about food that puts our health and well-being first. Don’t settle for bland and boring meatloaf when you can prepare one that is tailored to your needs and packed with flavor. I urge you to try this simple but transformative recipe from Sally Fallon and Shaye Elliott at Nourishing Joy. You won’t regret it!

Spicy Meatloaf - Nourishing Traditions

Spicy Meatloaf – Nourishing Traditions Recipe

From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 408.6 kcal


  • 2 lbs ground beef or 2 lbs other red meat
  • 1/2 lb ground beef heart (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain bread, crumbs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons organic tomato paste or 4 tablespoons naturally sweetened ketchup


  • Saute onions, carrots, celery in butter until soft.
  • Stir in chile flakes, thyme, pepper, and sea salt.
  • Soak bread crumbs in cream.
  • Use hands to mix meat, sauteed vegetables, soaked crumbs, egg and fish sauce.
  • Form into a loaf and set in 9X13 pyrex pan.
  • Ice with tomato paste or ketchup.
  • Add 1 cup water to pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 222gCalories: 408.6kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 23.2gFat: 32.7gSaturated Fat: 16.3gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 498.6mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meatloaf
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Chef Chloe


Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.